Late on Saturday afternoon, Rhode Island joined the international Occupy movement, a protest against the corruption and greed of the wealthiest 1 percent of the population and their marginalization of the remaining 99 percent. The movement, which began last month on Wall Street, has had hundreds of supporters here in Providence, with protesters gathering in Burnside Park for the past three days. By Saturday night, about 25 tents were set up in the public park downtown. And just this morning, members of the Occupy Providence group marched to the Bank of America building, where they plan to close their accounts and “take their money back.”
The state will be getting a new batch of much-needed primary care doctors, dentists and mental health providers this year, thanks to an expanded federal program which repays up to $60,000 in student loans in return for service in under-served areas of the country. In 2011 alone, twenty-seven health care workers in Rhode Island received awards with a combined total of $1.7 million from the National Health Service Corps. Last year, an additional 15 awards were made. Recipients work in community health centers, prison-affiliated clinics and other high-need locations.
In other local news, the state’s Special Commission on Reapportionment is holding a public hearing this Monday night to receive feedback on their proposed changes to Rhode Island’s political districts. And north of the State House, a laundromat was robbed by a man wearing a Halloween mask on Saturday night. There’s probably a joke in there, but for now, let’s just say it’s too soon.